Stamford Bridge, sponsored by Cellhire the global York based telecoms rental company, concluded their excellent season on Saturday with a brave and battling performance against Premiership champions Poppleton in the League Cup final.
Unfortunately for the Championship league winners their Premiership counterparts proved too strong on the day and ran out 2-0 winners with goals in both halves from talented midfielder Tamryn Dunlop.
The first opportunity of the match fell to Stamford Bridge when good work from Ellie Whytock and Olivia Cant forced a corner within the first minute. Unfortunately directly from the corner Poppleton broke up field to score the opening goal of the game. With a strong wind behind them and conceding home advantage, Stamford Bridge were finding it very difficult to get a foothold in the game. Poppleton again went close in the fifth minute when a long range shot hit the upright.
Stamford Bridges first real chance came in the eighth minute when the ball fell to striker Jess Wills in the area but her effort was saved by the goalkeeper. In the resulting melee Ellie Parkin won the ball back but her shot went inches wide.
The visitors were again forced on the back foot in the thirteenth minute. This time goalkeeper Georgia Stanton, back after a three match absence, had to get down well to save from a Poppleton attack. In the last five minutes of the first half, Stamford Bridge brought on Niamh Cusack and Jess Alstom in an effort to get them back in the game but the whistle went at the end of the first half with the hosts still having a one goal advantage.
Unfortunately the break did not give them the opportunity to regroup. Within a minute of the restart Poppleton doubled their lead. From a throw deep in the Stamford Bridge half the ball fell to Tamryn Dunlop who turned and fired the ball in to the bottom corner of the net.
Stamford Bridge now attacking in to the very strong wind and up the slope tried to battle back. Kirsten Wright moved into midfield and was immediately involved as she played in Emma Nelson but her resulting effort was well saved by the Poppleton goalkeeper.
With time running out Stamford Bridge needed to find a goal. Twice their captain and player of the match Ellie Fitzmaurice surged forward from the back hoping to break open the defence, but Poppleton held firm. The last ten minutes of the game saw Poppleton back on the offensive themselves and defender Alice Ella had to be at her very best to keep the final score at 2-0.